Friday, April 10, 2009

Arrangements and Such

April 10, 2009

I have added a photo at the bottom of this entry from the Aggie vs OSU soccer match on Friday night.

Walter, Davis, and I are leaning heavily on all of our dear, dear friends today. Thanks to each of you who are lifting our burden and reminding us of what is really important.

For those of you looking for information about arrangements:

We will have a party/celebration/visitation in honor and memory of Erin's life on

Sunday Evening
April 12
from 6 to 8 p.m.
at the
Fellowship Hall of the First Presbyterian Church of Bryan
(1100 Carter Creek Parkway)

Everyone is welcome to stop by, relax, exchange Erin stories, listen to her favorite tunes, and join us in remembering her through photos and memorabilia.

Her memorial service will be held on

Monday Afternoon
April 13
at 2:00 p.m.
at the
First Presbyterian Church of Bryan
(1100 Carter Creek Parkway)

In lieu of flowers, if you wish, you may make a donation to Erin's Let's Do It Fund at the First Presbyterian Church to fund children and youth activities at the church or to Lunch for Life/Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation.

Visitors to either event are encouraged to dress with an eye for color. Erin held no prejudice against any color, as long is it was bright and eye-catching.


At the beginning of the game on Friday night, the Aggies and the Cowgirls observed a minute of silence in Erin's honor. Erin's team joined these two fine collegiate squads in the middle of the field. As you can see (click the image to enlarge), the Aggies wore their green tornadoes again and both teams wore green ribbons for Erin.


  1. Beth Sullivan in MAApril 10, 2009 at 3:14 PM

    Sending love to help hold you up. She was a MARVELOUS very special. I never met her in person and yet my heart aches for all that is lost.

  2. I'm absolutely sick and shocked to learn of Erin's death. I assumed she'd been doing just fine. I know God welcomed her Home and I hope our daughters are playing together, pain free, but my heart is absolutely breaking for you. You are an awesome mom! She was so lucky to have you. I am so very, very sorry! Please call or email anytime. I just got my first asst. prof. position, but we have so much more to talk about - our angels.

    Lifting you up,

  3. I thought our sweet Erin was making a turnaround, I'm still so shocked and devastated. My prayers and thoughts go with all of you at this incredibly difficult time.
    God bless you

  4. I will definitely bring on the color--thanks for the encouragement. I've never forgotten Ruthie Lewis saying she choose her clothes for Mother's service by selecting the ones that would have made Janice say "Ruthie!!!"
    We'll be there as quick as we can.
    You are constantly in our thoughts and prayers--and we are joined by many others here in our community.
    With much love--
    Quin, Steve, Loren, and Shannon

  5. Wish I could be there with you all but I most certainly will be wearing some BRIGHT colors and shoes for Erin..... Sending you all hugs love and prayers.....


  6. I am so sorry to hear of Erin's death. May you find comfort and peace through these dark days. I am a NB mom in California who has followed your blog for a long time. I always have so admired how you enabled Erin to enjoy and live life despite having this terrible disease. Blessings to you and your entire family.

    Mary Jackson

  7. We are grieving with you this evening. I am so very sorry for this loss and so very blessed to have gotten but a glimpse of a life so very well lived. Bless you all. You have been amazing throughout this entire ordeal and I know our loving Savior will continue to lift you up in the coming weeks and months.

    -bob, for Laura, Anna (NBIV)and kids.

  8. Did you say dress with color? Well, I think I can manage that! Thanks for the updated information. The girls (Shirlene, Mary Ann, Elaine, Patty, Beverly) and I are pouring our hearts into an awesome collage featuring our favorite "Erin & Friends" photos. Thanks for allowing us this honor.
    Please let us know of anything you need. We're all sitting on go, waiting for a task.
    Love and hugs to y'all.

  9. Vicki,
    We are so very sorry. We love you and are thinking of you and your family. Please let us help if you need us. God bless,

    Batman's Family

  10. On the road and just able to log on...
    Blown back and devastated here in Vermont just as Erin fans across the country and around the globe are surely feeling. Had been terribly worried how thin Erin had gotten; somehow thought the docs would somehow patch things along.

    "No words can heal a mother's heart." from Two Worlds (Phil Collins from Tarzan)

    I wish I could be with you to comfort you and to lend support to your family.

    To Erin, "You'll be in my heart, from this day on, now and forever more. (more from Phil Collins and Tarzan.) Your devoted friend from NJ, Mara Stiles

  11. Sending our thoughts and prayers to gently cradle you in the weeks and months ahead... My entire being aches for you Walter and Davis.

    Jen Kwasinski

  12. I was so shocked to learn ... I am thinking of you guys constantly, and Erin has been on my mind non stop (as she has been for about a year!) I hope you're able to find peace. I will wear my lanyard very proudly.

    Loads of love from North Carolina,

  13. I am so sorry to hear about Erin's death. May GOD hold you close during this difficult time. Carolyn Wing grandma to Laura Stage IV neuroblastoma page name LauraVDB

  14. What an awesome soccer picture! I need to find me some striped green socks like that to wear in memory of Erin. The socks also remind me of "The Wizard of OZ" and when she and Katie came to see the play when they were in Kindergarten. So many fun memories I have of her....

  15. All of you are in my thoughts every moment. Happy Birthday, Davis! I have always know that you are very driven and focused young man. You have amazing things in store in your future. Don't forget to stop and smell the roses along the way.

    Janice Sahm

  16. love you guys -- wish i could be there.

    people are lighting virtual candles in honor of erin, here:

    maybe post it if you can so more people will light.

    ~nikki from the blogathon

  17. I only had the privilege of knowing Erin for two short summer preschool programs when she was in my class at FCC. Even at such a young age Erin was obviously destined for great things. Sweet, outgoing, cheerful, compassionate, articulate, positively radiant--That was Erin even the summer she was diagnosed. While she has left everyone brokenhearted at the loss of her physical presence, her True Life of endless joy is just beginning in the very presence of the awesome Creator of the universe. In her years on earth Erin attacked the specter of death by living life to its jubilant fullest. She refused self-pity by focusing on giving to others. She conquered fear with the childlike faith few adults would be able to muster. Erin was never a victim, but always the victor! I believe the world is a much brighter place thanks to this precious girl. Although her bright radiance is now beyond our field of vision, she lit countless life-changing candles that we all must shine and in turn pass on to others around us.
    To her amazing family--you courageously allowed Erin to accomplish so many dreams when you could have just kept her close and (miserably) protected at home. You gave the world a gift we will never forget. May you feel the peace of God which passes understanding.

    Blanche Whittemore

  18. Hello,
    I was directed here by the family of Mackenzie Levi. Please accept my condolances. They weren't kidding when they said her smile was infectious. Even in the last few photos, her face seems to shine. We'll be thinking of her and of you.

    Roger, Rachel, and Charlotte Reynolds

  19. Reaching out to you this minute in the only way I know how during this very difficult time in your life. I have been keeping up with Erin's blog and know that she put up a tremendous fight with two such loving and dedicated parents there to support her. I want you to know that I am thinking of you and sharing (if only in a tiny way) the pain that you must be feeling. God bless your family with His love and peace.

    From a long lost friend,
    Joan Hill

  20. Thinking about Davis today as he celebrates his birthday without his sister. Once again, I can't help but tear up when I think about Nathan being in his shoes; those fellas love their little sisters!

    Love and prayers to you all,

  21. May you dwell in the comfort of His arms tonight and always and in all ways. And may His love caress your spirit with peace.

    I am running a 330 + Mile journey run beginning May 15 and I will carry Erin's name on my running shirt the entire distance.
    Together we will be a voice for the voiceless raising awareness not only of neuroblastoma, but all pediatric cancers.

    God Bless You and Yours

    Grandpa John (John Raschke - Redford, MI)

  22. I'm so shocked to read of Erin's death. If there were anyone I thought would be this it would be here. I pray she is resting in no pain and playing with her other warriors.

    My heart is sending continuous love to your family.

    Laurie in NJ

  23. Dear Buenger Family,
    You are in my thoughts and prayers. I have followed you the past 2-1/2 years after learning of you through the site of our daughters friend who died of NB in 2006. We have a daughter Erin's age and have delighted in Erin's life as we seek to understand our girl. Vickie, your gift of writing is so enlightening...cancer did not define Erin. Thank you for sharing Erin's life with us. You are a terrific mom, I have learned so much from you. I can't imagine how much you will miss your girl. Thinking of you so much. Much love from a lurker and a friend. Lynda

  24. In the early morning hours of this Easter morning, I found reference to "Erin's Home" via another's blog.

    Then I read your news about Erin as of the 9th.

    I am so very sincerely sorry for your loss.

    Your Erin was and is a lovely little girl with a beautiful smile, an obvious kind heart and zest for life.

    I wish I could bring a bouquet of bright bluebonnets from my yard down for all of you.

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers on this special Easter Sunday ... and hopefully this second generation Aggie alum will be feeling well enough to make it to Easter services where I attend church at First Presbyterian in my town.

    You have a lovely, shining new star in Heaven today, shining down on Bryan and College Station.

    God bless you and be with you and your family as you celebrate Erin's life.

    A friend in Dallas

  25. Vicki,
    Max just called. He and Erin have all the light sabers they need. Green light sabers are especially easy to find in heaven, so is orange. Purple too. All the colors of the rainbow which I'm sure makes Erin smile. They are having a blast - Max, Erin, Lucas, Eden A, Penelope, Eden B, Christi, Austin and all the others. Erin's also teaching Max how to bead a new holder for his dog tags. Our thoughts are with you on this Easter, as they will be on every Easter from now on.
    The Mikulak's

  26. Vickie,

    I just don't know what to say. I'm in NC with my family and just saw the news. My heart is broken for you all. We are heading to mass and I will be sure to ask for a special prayer for Erin. I'm so sorry I cannot be there today.

    In NB love,
    Kristi and family

  27. Thinking of you guys at this time, just as we think of Hans and all the other little ones fighting cancer everyday.

    We're so sorry to hear the news.

  28. Erin is one of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life. She is the best model I have for facing adversity with humor, strength, and determination. I will never forget her. My thoughts and prayers are with you today and in the weeks to come.

    Chris Kochevar

  29. I was so shocked to log on and read the latest update. Even though I never met Erin in person, there is an ache in my heart for your family. Please know we are praying hard for you guys...wish I could be there tonight, but I will be wearing bright colors today and tomorrow in honor of sweet Erin.


  30. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Buenger,

    I just thought it might be appropriate to say what an incredible impact your family has made on me, Erin and Davis especially. She was the most upbeat and wonderfully bright person I have ever met (or probably ever will meet) and I have never witnessed such strength and understanding especially from such a small child. Her capacity to show love was seemingly unlimited and she made my experience with your family one that I will never forget.

    And just like his sister, Davis has strength within him too. The kind of strength that inspires and makes me want to be a better person. You have done such a marvelous job with both of them. If there are better people out in the world, I haven't found them yet.

    I can't imagine how you all must be feeling. To have someone so pure and full of life taken away...there aren't words to describe it. I am so very sorry. I was devastated to hear the news. My heart is heavy and my prayers are with you, your husband, and Davis.

    I will be attending the memorial service on Monday in the most colorful thing I can find. If there is anything I can do for you all please don't hesitate to ask.

    Matthew Dahlgren
    (PPR member for life)

  31. Oh Buenger Family,

    Words cannot express our sadness. I've waited 3 days to post this because I had no idea what to say to offer some comfort, and (to me) that seems odd being written by a fellow cancer mom.
    I wish we had had the time to know Erin more intimately, but like everyone else, we fell in love with her the moment we met her. She single-handedly raised more money for Candlelighters in one evening than anything on record (if not literally, then figuratively for sure!) :-)
    Lindsey had mentioned several times that she wanted to hang out with Erin and make lanyards, but she was just to ill to do so lately.
    Please know, Vicki and family, that you are in our thoughts and prayers every single moment of every single day.
    Please also know that if you need anything, ANYTHING at all, we are just a phone call away. We would be honored and would consider it a privilege to do anything you need.

    Melanie MacNabb
    Mom of Lindsey Gothard

  32. I came to your site via the xanga of Nancybratt and have spent the last few days reading each and every post from the very beginning. If you see a lot of "Hammond, IN" in your tracker, that would be me.

    I just wanted to tell you what an inspiration Erin is, and always will be. My thoughts and prayers are with Erin's family and all her friends around the world at this time.


  33. hi vickie,
    if i were closer than 22 hours away i would have been at erin's celebration tonight and her memorial today. just wanted you to know that you, walter and davis are in my thoughts many times a day these days. as you've said on my blog - i hope you are being gentle with yourself and doing what you can to take care of yourself.

    many blessings on this easter,
    brooke in logan

  34. What a wonderful, special child. I have been taken with Erin for a long time now but I have been hesitating to leave a note lest I, a stranger, intrude on this time of such deep personal pain for you and your family. I do want you to know though that there are many like me, who are silently shedding tears at your enormous loss.


  35. Walter, Vicki and Davis,

    I was so struck to read about Erin in the paper Saturday. She had so much energy, even with cancer, I (and so many others, it appears) never expected this to happen.

    Your family will be in our dinner prayers for many days to come.

    Erin was the best example I have ever seen of a life well lived.....

    Blessings and comfort to you,
    Marcy (Halterman), Russell, Eva and Aine Cox
    College Station, TX

  36. Wow- amazing tribute- gives me chills to look at that picture. I wish I could say something poignant to make you feel comforted, but I can't. My grandson has neuroblastoma and I found your blog a while back. Your stories of Erins spunk and positive attitude turned me around on many a crappy day. I ache for you missing your sweet girl. Please know that the ripple effect she had is quite powerful.

  37. I have been reading your blog and have enjoyed keeping up with Erin. I am so very, very sorry for your loss.

  38. Dear Vickie,

    I remember you fondly from when I worked at A&M during the '90s. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. What a wonderful child you were blessed with and what a wonderful mom she was blessed with. I am sending prayers for peace and love for you and your family.

  39. Dear Mr. and MRs. Buenger,

    I wish to express condolences to you and your family. Over the year I have read about Erin from time to time, having been introduced to her by my wife, Goodnight Mom. Your strength is that of a 300 year old oak tree, overflowing its boundries to bring strength and courage to us bystanders. For that, I give thanks to Erin and yourselves. Kristi will be delivering a warm hug from our family to yours thia afternoon.

    Jonathan (Eva's dad)

  40. Dick and Mary ArnoldApril 13, 2009 at 10:54 AM

    Erin was a brave young girl, who also had the great good fortune to be a member of an incredibley courageous family. Walter, Vickie, and Davis, we can never forget your compassion and faith.

    Please accept our deep symbathy and heartfelt condolences.
    God bless you.

  41. Hi Vickie,

    Please read Angie's blog she wrote yesterday (

    She lost her baby at birth on 4/7 last year...she celebrated what would have been Audrey's first birthday this past weekend.

    Erin knew love everyday of her life from gave her strength, courage, and the ability to live fully despite an ominous prognosis. I'm grateful for you sharing Erin and your journey together.

    I'm praying for you and your family and hope that knowing Erin is in heaven brings you great comfort.


  42. Wearing Erin's lanyard, I'm walking for Erin today at 3 PM eastern ( 2 PM central). I'll be thinking of Erin and you and Walter and Davis the whole time, a distant satellite to the Memorial Service. But then again I have been thinking of you almost all the time anyway. I only got the news when I logged on in Vermont this past Friday night, and it was with puffy eyes and a tear stained face, that I continued our travel program of the weekend.
    Mara Stiles (mom of nb angel Laura 1994-2006)
    New Jersey

  43. Dear Mr.,Mrs.Buenger, and Davis: I hope you are doing fine by the grace of almighty god, I cant even imagine what you are going through, the loss of a child must be absolutely dreadful, but the buenger family is a strong one and will not even let the passing on of the main cause your pride stop from helping the cancer society and even though I have not done much, Me and Erin were friends from the beginning because she was the outgoing person. Now that I realize such an impact she had made I try my best to be outgoing now and I hope some day, one day people will look up to me as we do to Erin now so WWED?(What would Erin do?) WDED(what DID Erin do?) Everything...
    Farhan Mahmood

  44. It is so interesting what the post above mine asks WWED? ("What Would Erin Do" I have begun to ask myself this at times because of the wonderful example she left us of how to live life well. I believe that WWED very much mirrors the original phrase WWJD, because she had so much of Jesus in her. She very much lived the way He wanted her to.

    I think I mentioned it to you yesterday, but we have chosen to hand the beautiful lanyard that Erin and Tiffany made on our mantle. It is a lovely reminder to us to be mindful of the important things in life, which is how Erin lived.

    Continuing to send you love and hugs and thinking of and praying for you all...

    Reeves Family